Leading and Growing Across Cultures

Vice President, Ministry Development

In the heart of Indiana, pastors and elders are gathered together in a sanctuary. They come to find encouragement with other leaders. They come to find support for the ministry burdens they carry. They come to be refreshed. And if you listen carefully during the worship time, you’ll hear some of the participants singing in a distinctly Hispanic accent.

New Insights

ReChurch is a yearly event held at The Creek, a Christian church in Indianapolis. The two-day conference brings together hundreds of elders and pastors from all over the United States—and this year also Mexico.

Octavio Ruiz, Dean of Student Affairs at Colegio Biblico, and 19 other pastors gathered together from various parts of Mexico and traveled for 26 hours to attend ReChurch for the first time.

“We received a lot of tools to apply in ministry, such as working as a team and planning our preaching calendar. We discussed elders and their biblical role. We have new insights of how to work in the church,” Octavio said.

“Pray for our leaders in Mexico to have the vision of a team—one body with many members with different roles.”—Octavio Ruiz

At the end of the first day, all of the Hispanic pastors stood in the center of the room, and the rest of us had the chance to pray over them. It was a powerful display of what the church is about.

When we asked how we could continue praying for our brothers and sisters in Mexico, Octavio said, “You can pray for our leaders in Mexico to have the vision of a team—one body with many members with different roles.”

Ministering to Church Leaders

ReChurch is equipping, nurturing, and energizing. It brings together dynamic speakers, thought leaders, and servants who God has called to help other churches grow.

Gary Johnson, senior minister of The Creek and executive director of E2: Effective Elders, is passionate about the need for a healthy growing relationship between elders and their pastors as they care for the people of the church. He regularly works with church ministry teams to develop healthy leaders. His heart for leaders inspired the creation of ReChurch.

“We started ReChurch nine years ago in response to the many relationships that we had established with smaller churches,” Gary said. “We wanted to create a gathering of leaders from those churches to encourage and minister to them.”

The conference theme this year was Drive. “During the four main ReChurch sessions, participants learned about park, reverse, neutral, and drive—all from the perspective of the road of life traveled by King David in the Old Testament,” said Gary.

The conference goals were these: remind church leaders that Jesus has given them their license to drive, help them recapture the excitement they first felt when they started ministry, remind them that their ministry is part of Jesus' ongoing ministry, and have a good time.

Iron Sharpening Iron

Each year CDF Capital has been privileged to offer financial assistance to ensure that all ministers who want to attend ReChurch can have the opportunity. The generosity, stewardship, and faithfulness of CDF investors make it happen.

This year the 20 ministers from Mexico received CDF's financial assistance. What a blessing to watch the proverb of iron sharpening iron lived out among church leaders across borders. Brothers and sisters in Christ, despite cultural differences, were joined together and driven by the same mission—to inspire one another to keep running the race, keep making disciples.

“Thanks for being our sponsors for this great event,” Octavio said. “Our people are very happy and got a new vision and new challenges for ministry.”

Octavio shared his experience with those at Colegio Biblico, and now more students and staff want to attend ReChurch next year.

We will never know until we reach Heaven just how many people in Mexico will be added to God’s family as a result of the new energy and ideas these pastors will take back to their country. Stories like these are why I feel blessed to be a part of the work of CDF as we help churches grow all over the world.


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